Small businesses are important because they provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and create meaningful jobs with greater job satisfaction than positions with larger, traditional companies. They foster local and national economies, keeping money close to home and supporting neighborhoods and communities. And, small businesses are crucial to our nation’s economy, employing 58.9 million people in the United States, or about 47.5% of the total private sector workforce. Their GDP contribution measured $5.9 trillion in 2014, the most recent year for which small business GDP data is available
If you are a small business owner, you are obviously aware that your resources pale in comparison to those of large competitors. You probably cannot fill the airwaves with commercials touting your company, and you do not have a brand like Kleenex or Coca-Cola that automatically tells anyone walking by, seeing someone, or something with your logo who you are. What you do have, however, is an incredible amount of flexibility. Small companies are agile. They operate in nimble ways that larger ones cannot. One way to take advantage of that is to work with companies that understand the challenged faced by small and mid-sized businesses.
Now more than ever, small businesses need to band together to compete with their larger counterparts. It is only by joining forces that small to mid-sized businesses can achieve economies of scale and have a voice that can compete with larger corporations, whether that is with a blog, content creation, graphic design, or other marketing functions. There is power in the collective, and businesses can harness the power of community to move forward.
So, in reality, what does this mean? If you are a small business, seek out symbiotic and collaborative relationships with other small businesses whenever possible. Whether formally or informally, build a collective co-op of like-minded businesses and individuals. Create remote teams that work for you – and outsource them, through platforms like Flocksy, that specialize in your needs. Small and mid-sized businesses need to look at each other as partners, not simply as competitors. Here are just a few tangible examples of how to join forces in the small business market.
Get Creative With Marketing
Get creative with your marketing toolkit. If you don’t think you can afford a full -service company, guess again. There are many options to make yourself look more professional and elevate your message for a very reasonable price. Companies like Flocksy, which was one of the first of its kind and charges a modest monthly retainer for almost unlimited service, are focused on helping small to mid-sized businesses with professional grade results. The company is comprised of small, remote teams that do creative work for other businesses, can fit into this mindset. Instead of paying a large, or expensive marketing company, use Flocksy to get reasonably-priced marketing materials created, usually within 24 hours. If you are encouraging small and mid-sized businesses to remain nimble like you, make sure to share how you do what you do best!
Host a Joint Sale
Think of how cities hold restaurant weeks during which lots of eateries offer deals at a set price and the overall event gets promoted. You can do the same type of thing with any sort
An ad saying something like “It’s out-of-quarantine savings week in the Mainstreet district, and every store has deals that are at least 20% off” might get people to come out and sample lots of different types of businesses. And you do not need to limit a deal like this to retailers; you can partner with service providers and restaurants as well. In fact, the more creative you are, the better!
Join a Local Group for Entrepreneurs or Start One Yourself
Whether the accountant recommends a repair company, or the consultant recommends a partnership, business is driven by referrals and connections. Local groups aim to tap into the power of collaboration, support, and most importantly, referrals. Use them to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners. Create your own custom marketing materials for that group and bring them with you to meetings – or if they are virtually-based, share them on your video call and through email. By using your marketing team to create custom content for this, you will stand out in the crowd – in a great way! Any time you do that – and go the extra mile – it leads to new business.
Offer mutually beneficial discounts
Sometimes restaurants do this with movie theaters, offering a promotion that invites moviegoers to bring in their ticket stubs and get a free appetizer or 10% off a meal. You can create synergistic deals like that, or you can simply use a “shop local” approach and offer discounts to customers who show a receipt from that day for a certain dollar amount from your partner businesses. Use your marketing platform to design great materials for this, coupons, and other things you can share to showcase your benefits and what you do, as well as the discounts. These “leave behind” pieces, whether virtual or in print, also help you track the success of your program.
Build Informal Alliances with Like-Minded Companies
There is a multitude of ways for you to reach out to other companies who share your views on customer service, business, product development, etc. This could be as simple as of business, and you can even turn it into an annual event. Find creative ways to advertise these programs and create marketing collateral and content that resonates through your outsourced marketing team. By offering to swap guest posts for each company’s blog or introducing a business owner to your own Twitter or Facebook communities, you will elevate the viewership of both companies. Don’t have the time or the experience to write that post? Use your content creation platform to help you. Your well-rounded outsourced marketing platform is a great place to start. At the end of the day, using an outsourced solution saves time and money, enhances your image and brand, and is a win/win for everyone involved. When done professionally, it makes all the difference in the world, regardless of the size of your business.